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Vaccines: A Closer Look
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Dear PROVE Members,

Currently, Texas law requires OPT-IN informed consent of a parent or an individual before any information can be placed in the state health department’s vaccination enforcement tracking registry called ImmTrac.  Also, Texas law protects privacy by prohibiting the state health department from  retaining individually identifiable information about any individual for whom consent has been withdrawn and for whom consent has not been obtained or verified for inclusion in the state vaccine tracking registry.

OPT-IN informed consent to having your vaccination status tracked and used for compliance by the state was the issue PROVE was founded on in 1997 when our feedback led the Texas Legislature to rightfully assert its commitment to medical privacy and informed consent.  Over the years, there have been numerous attempts to try to remove informed consent and medical privacy rights that Texas citizens have had to fight and defeat. (see notes below).

Fourteen years later, here we are yet again. This has to stop.

State Representative Donna Howard (D, dist. 48) has a terrible bill, HB 574, that needs to be defeated now.  The hearing is on Wednesday 4/13/11 in the House Public Health Committee at 8 am in E2.012. 

HB 574 needs vigorous opposition for the following reasons:

  • it changes state vaccine tracking system for all children and adults from OPT-IN informed consent to FORCED INCLUSION obliterating a 14 year history of the state upholding informed consent and medical privacy rights
  • instead of granting permission to be in the registry like in current law, a person would have to track down the department and request that their records be removed after the fact, but
  • there is no way to prevent you or your child from being tracked and put in a NON-CONSENTER database to keep out your vaccination status because the bill also deletes the prohibition on the health department retaining individually identifiable information about anyone for whom consent has been withdrawn and for whom consent has not been obtained or verified
  • This bill creates the Hotel California Vaccine Tracking System – “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!”
  • The registry is working fine with consent and the health department isn’t requesting this change - it is special interest groups who profit from vaccination pushing this

Ask your legislators to OPPOSE HB 574 and uphold your informed consent and medical privacy rights and keep the health department’s hands off your or your child’s medical vaccination record without your permission.  Also let your legislators know if you have been harassed at all for your informed medical and vaccination decisions or have already had trouble with the registry.  

You can read the bill text for yourself here:


Here are the steps you can immediately take to help fight HB 574:

1) Call, email, and/or fax the Members of the House Public Health Committee asking them to OPPOSE HB574 which has it’s hearing in the House Public Health Committee on 4/13/11.  Keep contacting the committee members even if you get this after 4/13 since they will not vote on the bill in this committee on the same day they hear it and take testimony.






Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst (C)



Rep. Elliott Naishtat (VC)



Rep. Carol Alvarado



Rep. Garnet Coleman



Rep. Sarah Davis



Rep. Veronica Gonzales



Rep. Susan King



Rep. Jodie Laubenberg



Rep. Charles Schwertner



Rep. Vicki Truitt



Rep. John Zerwas



Alternatively, you can use the following email addresses directly in the format of substituting the members first and last name as follows:

2) Plan on attending the public hearing to OPPOSE HB574 on Wednesday April 13th  at 8:00 am in the House Public Health Committee,  Capitol Extension Hearing Room  E2.012 in the Capitol Extension Building underground on the 2nd floor, in Austin TX.  
Please RSVP by replying to this note and let us know if you are coming.  We need people to give 3 minutes of concise respectful testimony at the hearing but if you just want to come and don’t want to testify that is ok because we also need some people to show their opposition by just showing up and attending but it is important that you at least sign in at the hearing room in opposition to the bill but not testifying.  If you are preparing oral or written testimony, please come prepared with 22 copies of your written testimony to turn in to the committee clerk when you sign in to be a part of the public record.  If you come, make sure you stop by the offices of your own representative and senator too!

3) Contact your own Texas State Representative and Senator asking them to Oppose HB 574.  You can register and log on to the Texas State Team Page of the NVIC Advocacy Portal on to view this alert while you are linked directly to your personal state legislators and their contact information, or you can link to and use the state form on the right side of the screen to enter your address information to have your state legislators displayed.  

4) Stay connected through the legislative session.  If this alert was forwarded to you by a friend, please make sure we can continue to provide you with more information by signing up for PROVE email alerts at and also please sign up for NVIC’s Advocacy Portal at  This will allow you to view current legislative information for Texas on our Texas state team page, receive important email updates of our efforts to expand and protect vaccine exemptions in your state and be automatically linked to your personal legislators and their contact information when you log into the site. 

5) If you want to read the history of the vaccine tracking system controversy in Texas and the efforts required by citizens to maintain opt-in informed consent and medical record privacy, go to the following links:


Dawn Richardson

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April 12, 2011

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